Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), the principal financial institution focused on promotion, financing and development of MSMEs, has provided the first approval under the SIDBI Cluster Development Fund (SCDF) to the Maharashtra Government.

 An in-principle approval letter has been issued I to the Maharashtra Government for ₹600 crore towards reviving/ upgrading ITIs / polytechnics run by the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training under the Department of Skills, Employment, Entrepreneurship and Innovation. 

Chairman and Managing Director, SIDBI, S Ramann said, “The active participation of State Government-run institutions through their upgradation and revival will provide the necessary impetus to fulfil the need for skilled manpower in the MSME ecosystem and will facilitate higher efficiency in the system.”  

These ITIs /polytechnics complement MSME Clustersthrough the availability of trained manpowe. The ITIs are generally located near industry clusters so that tradesmen can undergo apprenticeship training in different industry clusters on completing their training. 

The demand for skilled manpower in Maharashtra has sharply increased with the launch of Government schemes such as Make in India, Digital India, Smart Cities and the Clean India Mission. The ITIs would play an important role in meeting the skilled manpower demand generated through these new schemes.

 The UK Sinha-headed Expert Committee on MSMEs had recommended a more focused engagement of SIDBI with State Governments for MSME development and promotion, including use of Priority Sector Shortfall (PSS) funds to create a low-cost lending window for infrastructure projects in clusters.  

Accordingly, SIDBI has set up Project Management Units (PMUs) in 11 states namely, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujrat, Haryana, Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu., The PMUs in co-ordination with SIDBI and State Governments have given policy/ scheme inputs on the Innovation Voucher Programme scheme, New Entrepreneur-cum-Enterprise Development Scheme and undertaken rapid profiling of migrant labour options for entrepreneurship in PMU States.

It maybe recalled that SCDF has been set up with the support of Reserve Bank of India to support the hard infrastructure facilities in clusters pan-India. The fund is envisaged to support setting up, upgrading and renovation of MSME infrastructure in areas other than agriculture.  The major sectors include industrial and agri-allied sectors in the MSME eco-space, social sector projects in and around MSME clusters, and connectivity to MSME Clusters. 

SIDBI has already accorded in-principal sanction of more than ₹5,968 crore for the development/ upgradation of various Industry Cluster Projects to various State Governments / Union Territories across the country.